Institut für Musikforschung

    Studium Ethnomusikologie (english Version)

    Welcome to Ethnomusicology at the University of Würzburg!

    What is Ethnomusicology?

    Ethnomusicology is the study of how people make music in different cultural environments around the world. We explore diverse musical systems, learning methods, and creative processes in traditional, popular, and art music practices both at home and in more distant locales. We try to understand how varying beliefs, values, social issues, politics, and other extra-musical factors influence musical processes and musical meaning. We also examine the importance of music and music-making in our lives and in society, both to improve our general understanding and to enable us to have a positive impact in our communities. We focus within, between and beyond national borders and ethnic boundaries. We examine historical and contemporary modes of intercultural contact, conflict, exchange, and sharing, and the resulting flourishing of musical innovations as well as efforts of musical preservation. We also explore how expression, communication, and creativity—despite their myriad manifestations—are common needs shared by all humans.

    Study Opportunities in Ethnomusicology

    Students have multiple opportunities to study Ethnomusicology in the Institute of Musical Research at the University of Würzburg.

    Ethnomusicology Classes at the Undergraduate Level

    At the bachelor’s level, all BA students in Musicology and Music Pedagogy take the class Introduction to Ethnomusicology as part of their core curriculum. All undergraduate students in the Institute for Music Research have the opportunity to take numerous elective classes offered by the Ethnomusicology Program (Lehrstuhl), many of which are cross-listed with Musicology modules (for example, in Summer Semester 2018, Ethnomusicology modules were cross-listed with the following Musicology modules: MIK, MUR, SOZ, PER1, PER2, STA1, STA2, STA3, SP2, GLOP, GEG1, GEG2, FIB, HT5, HT8, SP2, HIST1, HIST 2, INT, IK1, IK2, IK3, IK4, HT9). See the Course Catalog (Vorlesungsverzeichnis) for current offerings. A new BA Minor in Ethnomusicology (60 ECTS) is planned for the future.

    Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology (120 ECTS and 45 ECTS)

    In this two-year (four-semester) program, students develop a strong foundation in ethnomusicological and cultural theories and in ethnographic and qualitative research methods, with an emphasis on enabling and guiding students in conducting their own original fieldwork and contributing to international theoretical discussions. Students have the opportunity to explore and deepen their knowledge of multiple world music traditions and examine a variety of socio-musical issues and questions. We also emphasize Applied Ethnomusicology and encourage community engagement. This program prepares students to pursue advanced academic work in Ethnomusicology as well as more applied work in the public, cultural, and education sectors.

    The MA program in Ethnomusicology is now offered as both as a single-subject and a two-subject degree. If pursuing a double major, students complete 45 credits in Ethnomusicology classes and 45 credits in a second discipline. The final independent research project – which may draw on research, practice-based reseach, archival research, and/or mixed methods – comprises 30 ECTS-credits. In theory, Ethnomusicology may be combined with any other program offered at the University (as long as the other program permits such a joint program). The most popular options are to combine Ethnomusicology together with Musicology, Music Pedagogy, Political and Social Sciences, European Ethnology/Folklore Studies, Museum Studies, and area studies programs such as American studies, Indian studies, and Chinese studies.

    Study abroad possibilities: Students are encouraged to study abroad in their third semester if they wish. Visit the international office or contact Dr. Martin Dippon for more details.

    Language of Study: Instruction is offered in a combination of English and German. Students must have at least B2 or equivalent in both languages. Students have the option to complete their oral presentations and written assignments in either English or German, as they prefer. (Note that classes offered through by programs, for example in Musicology or Folklore Studies, may have different language requirements and often require level C2 in German.)

    Eligibility requirements

    -  a BA with 180 ECTS-credits or equivalent
    -  15 ECTS-credits of courses related to music (practical or theoretical/academic)
    -  10 ECTS-credits of courses related to culture and/or society (focusing on any culture or cultures, from any perspective in Ethnomusicology, the humanities, and/or the social sciences)
    -  15 additional ECTS-credits of music-related and/or culture -related courses
    -  English and German language skills at Level B2 or higher
    For detailed entrance requirements see th "Fachspezifische Bestimmungen":
    FSB, Teil 1, § 4 (45 ECTS),
    FSB, Teil 1, § 4 (120 ECTS).
    (For the entrance requirements to the old 2015 curriculum, see  FSB, Teil 1, §4.)

    Application links

    Online Formular für Bewerbungen  (with a german degree)
    International Office  (with an international degree)

    Questions? Contact Cornelia Günauer M.A. for questions regarding eligibility, application procedures, and the structure of the doctoral programs. Contact Prof. Juniper Hill for  questions regarding PhD research proposals.

    PhD in Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies

    Students may apply to pursue a PhD in Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies either through the Philosophy Faculty or through the Humanities Graduate School. Visit our Ethnomusicology Research pages to learn more about current and recent research projects, current and recent research students, and supervision possibilities.

    Application links: Graduate School of Humanities, University of Würzburg, Philosophische Fakultät.

    Questions? Contact Cornelia Günauer M.A. for questions regarding eligibility, application procedures, and the structure of the doctoral programs. Contact Prof. Juniper Hill for questions regarding PhD research proposals.

    Interested applicants should send a CV; a three page proposal presenting the research questions, theoretical framework, and methodology of their proposed doctoral work; and a short bibliography of scholarship most directly relevant to the proposed research.


    Academic instruction is given by Prof. Juniper Hill  and lecturer Dr. Lisa Herrmann-Fertig. Practice-based instruction is offered by a variety of guest artists. Recent artist-in-residence instructors include David Saam and Franz Josef Schramm in local Franconian traditional music and dance, André Mabiala in West and Central African music, and Mohcine Ramdan and Aktham Abou Fakher in Arabic music.

    Ethnomusicology students may also be interested in the Sound Studies and Audio-Video Recording and Editing taught by Dr. Oliver Wiener, the contemporary music classes offered by Professor Elena Ungeheuer, and the music sociology classes offered by Prof. Eckhard Roch, as well as in other classes offered by the Musicology, Music Education, European Ethnology/Folklore Studies, Museum Studies, and various area studies programs in American/British, Indian, and Chinese Studies.

    We also frequently invite emerging and established scholars in Ethnomusicology to deliver guest classes. Recent visiting instructors include Dr. Kathleen Van Buren, Dr. Griffith Rollefson, Dr. Maurice Mengel, Dr. Zeynep Helvaci, Dr. Monika Schoop, Dr. Nepomuk Riva, and Dr. Vladimir Ivanoff.

    Affiliated/visiting scholars include Prof. Elizabeth Markham, Prof. Rembrandt Wolpert and Professor emeritus Dr. Max Peter Baumann.


    Recent Ethnomusicology class offerings include:

    Core Classes (offered regularly):
    Einführung in die Ethnomusikologie
    Theorizing Music as Social Process  
    Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Methods
    Research Seminar in Ethnomusicology
    Mikrofonaufnahmetechnik und Audio-Editing
    Applied Ethnomusicology Seminar

    Elective classes (continuously vary):
    Einführung in außereuropäische Kunstmusiken
    Power, Politics, and Identity in South African Music
    Finnish Folk Music from Ancient to Avant-Garde
    Latin American Music and Culture
    Musik und Religion in Indien
    Papua-Neuguinea: Musik und Sound
    Sinti und Roma – Gefühl von Grenzenlosigkeit in musikalischen Ausdrucksformen
    Volksmusikforschung in Franken – Traditionszusammenhang, Repertoire, Potenzial
    Musik(en) der Türkei in Geschichte und Gegenwart
    Ethnomusikologie und Human-Animal Studies: Tier-Mensch Beziehungen durch Musik
    Welten Elektronischer Tanzmusik: Eine subkulturelle Analyse
    Weltmusikfestivals: Transkulturelle Begegnungen
    Let's Do Gender! Gender und Queer Studies in der Musikforschung
    Popular Music and Culture in Theory and Method
    Popmusik aus soziokulturell und Musikanalyse Perspektive
    Community Music
    Applied Ethnomusicology Project

    Practical classes (may vary):
    American Shaped Note Singing
    African Music: West and Central African Drumming
    Fränkisch Singen, Tanzen, und Spielen
    Arabische Ensemble und Arabische Laute Oud


    Ethnomusicology Events

    Ethnomusicology Events

    Program Winter 2019/2020 (PDF)
    Program Summer 2019 (PDF)
    Program Winter 2018/19 (PDF)
    Program Summer 2018 (PDF)

    Resources for Ethnomusicology Students

    For the 2015 Version go to this page.

    Nomenclature: MHB = Modulhandbuch; SFB = Stdienfachbeschreibung; FSB = Fachspezifische Bestimmungen